September Songs

Having grown up a student in the northern hemisphere, September was never a favourite month of mine since it primarily marked the start of a new academic year. This mild dread was exacerbated by all the jolly ‘Back to School’ advertisements, since the experience itself never seemed particularly jolly to me. Knowing that Naxos will Read More …

A Magnificent Seven

Alan Fletcher is the president and CEO of the Aspen Music Festival, one of America’s leading classical music events. He has every reason to be proud of the festival’s history and achievements; but he’s less enamoured of his country’s track record in promoting the works of certain 20th-century American symphonists. Last month he elaborated on Read More …

1951

In 1951, Arnold Schoenberg died. And I was born. Which hardly constituted a fair exchange on the Muses’ creativity balance sheet. But the year itself has always intrigued me by its habit of popping up in history’s list of milestones, as it did recently, when I tuned into a BBC World documentary. It took as Read More …

Party time at the Proms

Our 17 July blog made connections between some of the composers featured in the first four weeks of this year’s BBC Promenade Concerts. Almost two months on, and the world’s largest music festival is only now drawing to a close. The celebrated Last Night of the Proms will be held tomorrow, Saturday 12 August, with Read More …

Summer seasoning

As July turns to August many of us will be enjoying the sunshine and thinking of vacations past and present. For music lovers, few melodies conjure the languid spirit of the season as effectively as Summertime by George Gershwin, from his 1934 opera Porgy and Bess (8.110287-88) which is, paradoxically, a tale of hardship and Read More …